An Interview With Public Studio (2107)
Under the name of Public Studio, Toronto-based filmmaker Elle Flanders and architect Tamira Sawatzky work in public art and installation, film and photography, with a keen interest in collaboration and geopolitical engagement. Their multidisciplinary practice engages with contested publics, colonial landscapes, ecology, and urbanization. In the spring of 2017, I talked to Flanders and Sawatzky about recent and notable projects, their working history and social contexts, and more.
Long listed for the New Quarterly's 2017 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest.
"As I sit down at the kitchen table to eat my dinner, I am transported to the last time I was out at the cabin. Two summers ago, I had come here to hermit myself away after a year of traveling. It was the longest period I’d spent back home since leaving eight years prior. My grandfather had been uncharacteristically eager to spend time with me that summer. He would pay me a visit almost every evening after dinner and we would sit at the kitchen table talking late into the northern nights still awash with their day’s light. We spoke to each other in the language that is spoken between different generations of a family: that tenuous, tender idiom buttressed by habit, love, and a certain willingness to forget, if only temporarily, those irreconcilable differences that separate us."
An INterview with Karachi Art Anti-University (2016)
The Karachi Art Anti-University is an Anti-Institution based in Karachi seeking to politicise art education and collectively explore new radical pedagogies and art practices. KAAU is a nomadic space moving outside the institution to occupy public spaces in the city as sites of study, disrupting imperial modes of knowledge production and circulation. Their sessions are site specific explorations that seek to learn, share and produce knowledge collectively while exploring new ways of inhabiting, knowing and being with the city, and being with each other. The Karachi Art Anti-University was founded in May 2015 by Shahana Rajani & Zahra Malkani. I sat down with Rajani and Malkani to talk about KAAU's unique approach to landscape, architecture, politics, and the past.
Re-Membering Europe: Nostalgia and the European Refugee Crisis (2016)
A visit to the Hungarian National Museum prompts reflections on the intersections of nostalgia, nationalism and Europe's hostile response to the recent influx of refugees that have arrived within its border over the past year. Looking beyond the obvious and troublesome ways in which nostalgia is employed to bolster regressive, far-right politics, I explore the ways in which the nostalgic impulse might be salvaged as a resource for building a new and expanded sense of solidarity and community within a changing Europe.
Published in the 2016 print issue of the King's Review.
Available online here.
AN INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP BEESLEY (2016)
For the inaugural issue of MVT Journal, I sat down with architect and artist Philip Beesley to talk about the interactive, responsive architecture and the potential it holds for envisioning different futures.
Solidarity in the 21st Century (2015)
"When a friend invited me to a party with “some labour activists” last fall, I did not imagine I would be spending my evening in the company of a crew of supermodels at a swanky East Village penthouse. Nor, for that matter, did I expect I’d be hanging out with Kalpona Akter—one of Bangladesh’s leading garment worker organizers. Also present were a handful of elderly New York Jews descended from the survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, some members of the International Labor Rights Forum and a vivacious hostess whose connection to the event or anyone else there was unclear to me beyond her repeated declarations that she simply loved both “good parties” and “good causes”. This, however, was precisely the motley crew I discovered as I stepped out of the elevator into one of the more bewildering parties I’d been to in New York City."
This piece is the introduction to a series of articles on solidarity in the 21st Century that I curated for the King's Review.
FIELD NOTES FROM FORT MCMURRAY (2013)
Second Prize, MusicWorks Magazine 2013 Sonic Geography Writing Contest
"...reverberations of the reclaimed give way to a new ecology, as green cedes to all-encompassing grey punctuated by steady intervals of pop, pop, poppops—I look for fireworks but see neither colour nor celebration—for this is the percussion of propane canons composed to scare birds, whose songs have long been forgotten, away from toxic lakes, silent, slick, seeping into a wasted land—pop poppop—their rhythms traveling unimpeded, without echo, for lack of anything left to push back upon them. but what’s this? the eerie screech of an eagle drifting somewhere above the morose Morse code turns my head skyward, when I hear it again, and again, and again, with a periodicity that defies the improvisatory impulse of the living, and I realize that even this cry has been engineered, in canon with the canons, to further frighten and empty this place..."